I am in possession of an original Royalty Deed dating back to 1937 in favor of my grandfather for royalty rights for oil, gas and other minerals. I know that he had questions about collecting royalties under this deed, but never pursued this issue during his lifetime. The deed identifies the Certificate numbers, Abstract numbers, Survey Numbers, Original Grantees and number of acres, all in La Salle County. Where do I start in figuring my family's current and past rights to royalties?
Was the Deed recorded in the Clerk's office?
Hi John -
WOW! If it is in the right part of LaSalle County, you may be facing an "income problem"!
I have many years of experience reviewing such issues. If you will post a copy of your Royalty Deed I will be happy to take a quick look at your circumstances.
If you would prefer to send me the information privately, accept my invitation to become A Friend on The Forum (which I will send momentarily) and I can provide you with my email address.
One note of caution: Having posted your information on The Forum, you may be (probably will be) receiving a whole slew of unsolicited offers to purchase your interests. I advise that you do not accept any until you know a whole lot more about your situation.
Hope this helps -
Charles Emery Tooke III
Certified Professional Landman
Fort Worth, Texas
Yes. It was recorded.
I am reluctant to publish the deed. I will not entertain and have no interest in any offers. I just need to know where I start in researching this. Thank you.
It's hard to give specific advice without the specific nature of what you own and the specific property to which you own it to. General advice would be to see if there is any production on the property, and if so, contact the operator. Additionally, you will also likely be needing to "prove up title" by filing of record in La Salle County any documents needed to complete the chain of title from your grandfather, to the current owners.
Best of luck!
Thank you, Texas Tea, for your reply. So, if I can identify through my deed specific Certificate numbers, Abstract numbers, Survey numbers, the Original Grantee and the number of acres covered, where do I go to translate this information to a current owner or operator?
For example, in 1950 my grandfather wrote to the County clerk in La Salle and provided all of the above information from his deed and asked for some advice in determining the value of the royalties. The clerk's response was to find out about oil activities by contacting the Cotulla Record, a local newspaper. Perhaps this was the way to do it in 1950. My grandfather never followed up. Do I need to find an investigator, or could I do it myself be going to La Salle?
Thanks in advance.
The type of Investigator that you would hire to review your circumstances would be a Landman. We research the County Clerk's Records, the County and District Court Records, Probate Records, etc. to determine surface, mineral and royalty ownership.
You would not find any information about Wells and Production in La Salle County, only the Clerk's Records (Deeds, etc.).
For Well and Production information, you can research the records of the Oil and Gas Division of the Texas Railroad Commission yourself, which are available for public inspection at their offices in Austin, Texas, or you can research them online.
Their online records are not easy to negotiate, however, and do not reflect Sales figures, Sales values or your decimal interests in any Wells that are or have produced on or including the Lands - figures you will need to estimate what you might be owed.
I access a website called DrillingInfo that has all of the data you are initially seeking (whether you are owed any royalties and how much). All I need is the legal description and your Grandfather's name and I can provide you with that information.
Just to make you aware of it if you are not already: Texas Counties tax producing mineral and royalty rights.
1950 was 67 years ago. If there have been producing Wells on or including the subject lands your Grandfather may have lost his interests for taxes.
Hope this helps -
Charles offers a lot of good advice above and what I would say would basically mirror his comments. As Charles said, the Texas Railroad Commission is the governing body for O&G in Texas. Their GIS Mapping program can be found here: http://wwwgisp.rrc.state.tx.us/GISViewer2/
You might try and search your Abstract No. in La Salle County to get an idea where the property is and if it might have production. You might only own a small part to a larger abstract, so the legal description on the document where your grandfather acquired these rights would potentially be important to figure out the exact location within the abstract.
Charles made another good point in that if there was production sometime in the past 60 years or so, and taxes were never paid, it is possible that the interest could have been sold at a tax sale for non-payment of taxes.
I know you are reluctant to send anyone specifics, but I worked in La Salle Co as a landman for several years and could help you if you would like. Just friend request me if you are interested and want to keep your personal information off the internet. Charles and many others on here are also good sources of information and here to help, if you let them.
John- This article gives a general guideline on how to proceed - http://www.mineralrightsforum.com/profiles/blogs/i-may-own-minerals-so-now-what
Great article, Wade!